Garden resolutions and seed sharing.

Now that the snow has stopped falling on my blog and the holiday decorations are packed away, I’m reflecting a little on the bounty that is to come in just a few short months as I leaf through my 2010 Garden Flickr set and pull out a picture of one of my favourite plants from last year:

Florence Fennel! Talk about a satisfying plant to grow and eat…. We made all sorts of scrumptious salads and stews out of this flavourful bulb in 2010, and it’s a beneficial attracting plant in the garden as well. 2011 will see many more of these in my garden beds for sure – particularly as I have lots of seed left over from last year’s West Coast Seeds Order to facilitate  growing many of the same cultivars as I did last year.

I finally got around to doing my seed inventory yesterday – something that has been on the to-do list since October – and confirmed in the process that I have enough seed left over from last year for at least this growing season, if not one more to follow (in my experience seeds will still germinate after 3 or 4 years if they are kept right). I am going to try a few new things this year and eliminate some of what I wasn’t impressed with last year, but for the most part I’m sticking with a lot of what I did last year.

My garden goals for 2011 include:

  • Way more seed saving.
  • Becoming a great grower of red cabbage – which I love, but somehow don’t grow very well.
  • Successfully growing cauliflower for once!
  • Overwintering onions – which I missed the boat on in 2010 because I wasn’t organized.
  • Ditto for Brussels Sprouts. I want to grow them so damn bad, but they are fussy with timing.
  • Tomatillos for salsa. I killed my tomatillo plants last year by hardening them off to suddenly.

My clean-up/inventory yesterday revealed to me the following seeds for give away. Some of these are seeds I saved, some are seeds I am not going to use this year because they didn’t do well in my yard last year (melon seeds) – so if you want any of these, I’ve got a lot of some and a few of others – let me know and I’ll put them in an envelope and mail them (send a message to with your address). I’ll collect good plant karma through the universe some other time in exchange:

  • Oriental Poppy
  • Columbine
  • Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce
  • Delicata Squash
  • Sayamasume – Soya Beans
  • Canteloupe – Earlichamp
  • Watermelon – Blacktail Mountain
  • Black Turtle Beans

New things I’m thinking of for this year’s garden include:

  • Beets – Early Wonder Tall Top
  • Broccoli – Gypsy
  • Sui Choi – China Express
  • Cauliflower – Amazing
  • Snow Peas – Oregon Sugar Pod
  • White Mustard (for seed)
  • Green Beans – Stayton
  • Summer Pumpkin – Ronde de Nice
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Runner Bean – Scarlet Emperor
  • Microgreens Blend
  • Sweet Peas – Scentsation

All ordered from West Coast Seeds – except for the mustard which I’m going to order from Richter’s (along with some other herbs which I haven’t decided on yet). Anyone have any experience with the above cultivars to offer an opinion?

Despite the fact my backyard is frozen solid at the moment – I’m looking forward to gardening in 2011 already. Next up? Seed ordering.

2 Comments on “Garden resolutions and seed sharing.

  1. Runner beans are my favorite! In my limited experience, they’re pretty easy to grow. A few years ago, when we lived in the a co-op, we strung a few strands of twine from the ground up to our third floor balcony. The beans grew all the way up quickly & provided a lovely leafy screen for the windows. Picking them was a little complicated & involved hanging out various windows, as we didn’t have a ladder that tall. 🙂

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